AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES The Birds of America from drawings made in the United States and their territories
. New York: published by J.J. Audubon; Philadelphia: J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. First octavo edition. Seven volumes, period purple morocco, all edges gilt. 10 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches (26 x 16 cm); half-titles and lists of subscribers present in all volumes, 500 tissue-guarded hand-colored lithographic plates after Audubon, printed and colored by J.T. Bowen, together with in-text illustrations. Bindings generally sound but with the joints renewed on the first volume, retaining original spine, some foxing to text as usual, but the plates generally clean, some few toned or foxed from the guards, occasional minor offsetting, but overall a sound, complete set.
A generally clean and pleasing set of the first octavo edition, noted by Reese as "the most extensive color plate book produced in America up to that time". The first octavo edition, expanded in both plate count and in the amount of species depicted, was the final Birds of America publication to be overseen by Audubon in his lifetime, and was designed to be available "at such a price, as would enable every student or lover of nature to place it in his library" (introduction). Bennett p. 5; Nissen IVB 51; Reese 34; Sabin 2364; McGill/Wood p. 208; Ayer/Zimmer p. 22.
C Property of a Maine Collector
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